Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wilson: Counsel not ineffective for failing to present mitigating evidence

In Wilson v. Warden, No. 14-10681 (Dec. 15, 2014), the Court affirmed the denial of habeas relief to a Georgia inmate sentenced to death for a 1996 murder. The Court rejected the argument that trail counsel were ineffective because they failed to investigate his background and present mitigation evidence at sentencing. The Court found that Supreme Court of Georgia could have reasonably concluded that new evidence of Wilson’s background would not have changed the overall mix of evidence at his trial. For example, evidence that Wilson was more of a follower than a leader was contradicted that he had “risen to the rank of ‘God damn chief enforcer’” of a local gang.